Factors Considered when Determining Maintenance Eligibility
Before the court makes a determination of whether spousal maintenance is appropriate in a specific situation, the following are examples of factors that will be examined:
- Length of the marriage
- Ages of the parties
- The assets and property held by each spouse (taking into account what was divided during the property division process)
- Employability of each spouse, and whether time needs to be given for education, job training or other job skill acquisitions
- Future earning capacity of each spouse
- All potential sources of income
The length of the marriage also factors into how long spousal maintenance will need to be paid. For instance, a marriage lasting less than five years would require two years of spousal maintenance once the divorce is finalized.
Spousal Maintenance Calculations
The above facets of the case, and many others, will be carefully considered before any spousal maintenance is awarded. If spousal maintenance is deemed appropriate in your divorce, a calculation is used to determine how much is owed. In Illinois, the general guideline is:
- 33% of the payer’s net income – 25% of the payer’s net income = yearly maintenance paid
This number will then be reviewed by the courts to ensure that it is appropriate, and deviations will be made if necessary. No one spouse can earn more than 40% of the couple’s combined income due to spousal maintenance.
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